What is Restorying?

Restorying blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  ~ Albert Einstein

After over 15 years teaching and practicing green architecture and sustainability, I had to ask: why haven’t things gotten better? Why are we still on a collision course with the climate, poverty, suffering, inequity, violence, war, and mental illness? We have the technology and the know-how to be far more efficient, so why aren’t we? How did we let it get to be too late for the climate?

I started wondering if all the emphasis on “what to do” was distracting us from the real work, which is to consider “who we are.”

I realized that, being part of this culture I wished to change, I was falling under its spell of separation. Restorying is not about saving the earth or being less bad. It’s about waking up to who we really are and why we are here. Which, at its core, is a mystery and always has been.

Our culture has trained us to believe that we are separate from and superior to the rest of the community of life.

. . . and, by extension, each other. We may agree and embrace this way of thinking, or we may be unaware that it is part of our operating system. Either way, until we discard that inaccurate and damaging notion, we can never heal ourselves, each other, or our world. We will remain stuck.

Throughout our history, humans have always lived by stories that told us how we got here, why we are here, and what God and the Universe were up to. The great playwright David Mamet says that drama comes from “our impulse to structure cause and effect in order to increase our store of practical knowledge about the universe.”

Our modern-day stories rely on abstractions like Growth and Progress, Family Values, Technology, and Change. Abstractions paint an incomplete and inaccurate picture of who we are in the world. We are taught that, unless you can measure, analyze or describe a phenomenon rationally, it doesn’t exist. Intuition, emotion, myth and the imagination have been treated as inferior, the realm of children best discarded once we reach adulthood.

In a Restorying retreat, we open ourselves to new messages that are germinating deep in our individual and collective consciousness.

Story-based practices draw from a deep well of imagination to receive the guidance and encouragement available to all of us. Exercises may bring numinous experiences of the joy of connection and welcome.  We explore practices like:

  • Letting go of old stories that no longer serve us
  • Tell and listen to stories – memoir, fable, myth, parable, hero’s journey
  • Imaginative journaling
  • Music, art and movement
  • Letting the body and senses listen and converse with our brothers and sisters, the trees, mountains, animals, meadows and streams

While a single unifying story is unlikely, a new way of being is taking shape that calls upon connection and belonging and is profoundly creative. Rather than struggle against what we don’t want, we can instead turn towards what energizes and inspires us. It is our birthright to live this way, to turn towards what is calling, what we love and long for. What are these emerging new stories?

For a current list of upcoming Restorying Retreats, check this page

“Children jump around at the end of the day, to expend the last of that day’s energy. The adult equivalent, when the sun goes down, is to create or witness drama – which is to say, to order the universe into a comprehensive form. Our sundown play/film/gossip is the day’s last exercise of that survival mechanism. In it we attempt to discharge any residual perceptive energies in order to sleep. We will have drama in that spot, and if it’s not forthcoming we will cobble it together out of nothing.”  ~ David Mamet, “Three Uses of the Knife,” pg. 8

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: